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#3 Women’s Finance Insight Programme – Big success, to be continued

03-06-2022 07:35

All good things come to an end – and then again not quite, in this case! We’re talking about our Women’s Finance Insight Programme 2022 which has run throughout spring, and has come to an inspiring and happy ending. On the back of high engagement and very positive feedback from the attendees, the programme is to be continued next year.

So, why the happy ending? What did the participants gain? Any surprises, eyeopeners, and take-aways? Get the answers and more in this blog, where we sum-up the happenings together with some of the attendees; Elise, Julie, Essie and Ormia, our dedicated bloggers throughout the programme.

To mark and celebrate the ending of the six weeks' programme, we invited the participants for closing dinners in the respective countries; Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

As hosts and organisers, we couldn’t have wished for a better ending. "We, the the local organisers of the programme, joined the attendees for a bite, and experienced the buzzing atmosphere of lively discussions, and lots of laughter," tells one of the drivers behind the programme, Lisa Andersson, Management Partner at Nordea Investment Banking & Equities:

“It was such a joy to see how the participants have become friends during these months of learning. Something we hope – and are positive – they will benefit from personally and professionally in future”.

Now, let’s tune in to the final blog by Essie, Elise, Julie and Ormia, sharing their experiences from the programme, and giving pieces of advice to other students who are considering a career in finance – and perhaps interested in joining our Women’s Finance Insight (WFI) programme in 2023.

Essi Helminen, Finland

Which session did you find the most interesting? 

My favourite session was the introduction to Corporate Finance which yielded fresh insights that are unique and complementary to the corporate finance courses and guest lectures at Aalto. Having Nordea’s female representatives shedding light on the company’s culture and sharing their experiences from working in predominantly male deal teams, was also very inspiring. 

What has been your greatest learning?

I am hopeful about the future of the banking industry. Within large banks like Nordea, there is ambition to improve practices, whether it’s through overcoming bias in recruiting processes or setting concrete ESG goals. The industry is constantly evolving and reinventing itself which has been an overarching theme during the programme.

I strongly encourage everyone to apply, regardless of background. Even if you’re not interested in banking to begin with ...

Would you recommend peers to join this programme? 

I strongly encourage everyone to apply, regardless of background. Even if you’re not interested in banking to begin with, it is beneficial to explore various career opportunities before fixating on one path. As this programme covers a wide range of topics, you’ll be certain to learn something new, about finance and career opportunities. 

Has your perception of working in finance changed? 

My perception has become more multifaceted. Banking is a people business, and interpersonal skills are essential in deals. I think some students see the financial services industry as a bit ‘cold’, but all the Nordea employee I have met during the programme, have been quite the opposite – easy to approach and excited to help others advance.  

Could you see yourself working in finance? 

The more I have learned about investment banking, the more I see myself working in the industry. I am excited to work in a collaborative and results-oriented environment in which I get to continuously deepen my understanding of finance. Nordea’s Women’s Finance Insight Programme reaffirmed to me that investment banking would fulfil these criteria.

What advice would you others interested in applying for the programme? 

Even if you have some prejudices about banking, apply for the programme, and see for yourself before making any final decisions. You might be surprised by the variety of opportunities at Nordea. If you get to attend, remember to be proactive and ask questions. You’ll make the most out of your experience by talking to as many people as possible. 

Elise Naaslund, Norway

What have been your greatest learning during this spring? 

To experience how Nordea works with all the theoretical concepts you learn at university. Also to learn how Nordea works with, and implements ESG measures. Their focus and commitment to sustainability is quite impressive. 

Would you recommend peers to join this programme? 

I would definitely recommend the programme to other students. If you are curious about finance but don't know much about the industry, this programme is an excellent way to learn more about all the career opportunities. 

Have your perception of working in finance changed? 

Yes. My perceptions have definitely changed. After a programme like this, you become more aware of which departments sound more exciting to you. It has helped me a lot, because now I know which field I am more interested in, and in which areas I want to improve my skills, and what to focus when applying in the future. 

Could you see yourself working at Nordea?

Yes, I could. The people you meet, their engagement, the transparency, and how the people are willing to take their time to teach us about their work, are quite attractive. For me, a strong focus on sustainability is also important for a future employer, which I know Nordea is very good at. 

Julie Rieland, Denmark

Which session did you like the most?

All departments have caught my interest in their own way. This is due to their shared goal of giving the best service to their clients within, e.g., finance, economics, and strategy. If I must choose one, it would be the sessions with the Debt Solution & Loans and Debt Syndicate units. The sessions surprised me the most in terms of what their departments do. The complexity of their tasks and their learning opportunities, the type of clients – and of course, that they were very down-to-earth people. Also, the cases we worked on were challenging and offered great takeaways.

What have been your greatest learning during spring?

My greatest learning has probably been that one has to embrace the broad perspective of finance; strategy, accounting, market segmentation, and without a doubt, ESG. Embracing this, makes you a true Sherlock Holmes (analytical) Investment Banker, which I believe is highly valued. More specifically, I have learned to calculate, analyse and present specific financial and strategic cases that Nordea works with daily.

Would you recommend others to join this programme?

Yes. As a student, you can easily get confused by all the opportunities you face in the job market. So, if you are curious about what it means to work in Investment Banking or Equities at Nordea, this programme is a unique opportunity to get insights like no other.

Has your perception of working in finance changed?

My perception has not changed per se. I knew that the people working in finance are highly skilled and driven people. However, it is a pleasant surprise that the focus is not only on producing larger and more complicated products and advisory. To work in finance is also about the relationships you create with your stakeholders and customers. The focus is also on creating a good work-life balance, which I am very positive about.

Could you see yourself working at Nordea Investment Banking & Equities?

Yes, I can. Through my studies, I continuously improve my skills in finance and economics. Hence, I can see myself mirroring many of the Nordea people I have met during this programme. The possibilities are many, and only time will tell what the future holds.

You can certainly feel that 'Women in Finance' is an agenda Nordea has much focus on. They take good care of all participants and are very inclusive.

What advice would you give students considering in applying for the programme?

Go for it! If you are interested in knowing what Investment Banking really is about, then grab this opportunity. You can certainly feel that 'Women in Finance' is an agenda Nordea has much focus on. They take good care of all participants and are very inclusive. If you're lucky enough to be a part of next year's  Women in Finance Insights Programme, then I advise you not to be afraid of showing 'who you are'. They welcome all questions, and they will share their knowledge within banking, both skillfs and career-wise.

Ormia Abdullah, Sweden

Which session did you like the most?

The session about leveraged finance. I enjoyed learning about how you help clients with their businesses and how you go about when pricing options.

What has been your greatest learning during this spring? 

Apart from all the new concepts, I have also learned about the level of effort, expertise and precision that goes in to each analysis.

Could you see yourself working at Nordea, in Investment Banking & Equities? 

Definitely. I enjoy the fast pace and that no two days are alike.

What advice would you give students considering in applying for next year’s programme? 

You don’t have to know everything about investment banking in advance. Apply if you have an interest or are curious about finance, and it will work out perfectly. If you get in, try to have some questions prepared for each session. Also, do not forget to add people on LinkedIn, it is a great way to network.

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If you are bachelor or master student interested in applying for our "Women's Finance Insight" programme 2023, keep an eye out for our application ad – it will be posted on Markets LC&I LinkedIn in late November 2022. So, follow us on LinkedIn, to make sure you don’t miss out on exciting career opportunities.

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Nordea Women’s Finance Insight programme 2023

Are you bachelor or master student interested in applying for our Women's Finance Insight programme 2023? Keep an eye out for the ad on Nordea LC&I LinkedIn – it will be posted in late November 2022.

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